By Stuart Littlewood – London
The BBC wouldn’t help the Gaza Appeal because doing so might jeopardise the public’s confidence in the BBC’s impartiality.
That’s laughable. Everyone I know has written several times to the BBC complaining about its glaring lack of impartiality when reporting the Palestine-Israel conflict. Some feel obliged to protest on a daily basis.
So brazen is the British Broadcasting Corporation’s eagerness to “fudge it” for Israel that it is widely known here as the Zionist Broadcasting Corporation – the ZBC or Zee-Bee-Cee.
The BBC delights in finding Palestinian spokesmen who lack media skills and whose speech is difficult to understand, while always wheeling in trained and polished Israeli PR people. The Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor is given plenty of air time but we rarely hear from his Palestinian opposite number, Professor Hassassian.
Professional liars like Mark Regev with his ‘friendly’ Australian accent are given a free ride by BBC presenters and interviewers, who are so poorly briefed – having no doubt swallowed the disinformation that’s pumped out through Israel’s London embassy – that the most outrageous untruths and distortions go unchallenged.
The BBC seems only too willing to misreport events, or not report them at all, and to stick to Tel Aviv’s propaganda line. The news service even adopts Israel’s definition of the situation and its language of deceit. Palestinians are the militants, never the Israelis. Israel doesn’t occupy Palestine, it has a military presence. Hamas is a terrorist organization not a legitimate government resisting an illegal occupation and blockade. Israel is a western style democracy when it is clearly an ethnocracy with a vile, racist agenda. Sderot is an innocent Israeli township when actually it is built on the lands of a Palestinian village that was ethnically cleansed, stolen and demolished by Jewish terrorists…
Mark Thompson, the BBC’s Director-General since 2004, said of the decision not to screen the Gaza Appeal: "After looking at all of the circumstances… we concluded that we could not broadcast a free-standing appeal, no matter how carefully constructed, without running the risk of reducing public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in its wider coverage of the story.”
He didn’t want the public to think the BBC was taking sides in an ongoing conflict.
Guy Adams, writing in The Independent back in November 2005, tells how Thompson travelled to visit Israel’s then prime minister, Ariel Sharon, in Jerusalem.
Why would Thompson – “Mister Impartiality" himself – wish to get cosy with the man whose secret death squad, Unit 101, dynamited homes and massacred 69 Palestinian civilians – half of them women and children – at Qibya in the West Bank in 1953?
Sharon’s troops later destroyed 2,000 homes in the Gaza Strip, uprooting 12,000 people and deporting hundreds of young Palestinians to Jordan and Lebanon. He then masterminded Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which resulted in a massive death toll of Palestinians and Lebanese, a large proportion being children. An Israeli tribunal found him indirectly responsible for the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps and removed him from office.
Sharon, in short, was one of the bloodiest criminals in the Middle East. And Thompson went to see him. The visit was intended to build bridges with Israel’s political class, says Adams.
Why bother… and why risk contaminating the BBC? Google the article and find out.
If it’s true that Thompson has Zionist leanings he has managed to compromise the impartiality of the world’s greatest broadcaster all on his own… a spectacular ‘own goal’. In the eyes of the world the BBC’s credibility is shot.
Once again we Brits find ourselves having to apologise to our Muslim friends… the latest in a long list of apologies for 90 years of betrayal.
– Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.